Questions & Answers

I’m getting divorced. Why would I need a forensic accountant?

Not everyone who gets divorced will need to use a forensic accountant – in fact, the majority won’t. But where a business or other significant assets are involved, working with a forensic accountant may be a worthwhile investment.

As independent experts, we can help clarify the financial issues involved, to assist the courts with decision-making so that a fair financial settlement can be achieved.

How can a forensic accountant help?

A forensic accountant acts as a financial detective, by investigating, analysing and interpreting a wide range of data to produce an accurate picture of the finances of an individual or a business. We only work with information provided to us and tracking this down is a job for other specialists, perhaps a private investigator.

Examples of how we could help include:

  • reviewing your partner’s Form E – the financial circumstances disclosure form that must be completed as part of a divorce – along with any supporting documentation
  • identifying additional questions to ask regarding Form E, to obtain the information needed for an accurate financial picture
  • calculating how much income a business generates
  • assessing how much money could be taken out of a business
  • valuing a business.

I think my partner has assets I haven’t been told me about.

Hidden assets are becoming more common in divorce cases. By gathering and analysing financial information, we can track down hidden assets or those that have not been fully disclosed, for example by investigating changes in spending activity, which can often be a clue to attempts to conceal assets.

My partner has built up a big company pension pot. Should that be part of a financial settlement?

Pensions can be an important factor when a couple sort out their finances on divorce. We can value pension pots and advise on the best way forward for pension splitting as part of an overall financial settlement.

Are there any other ways you can help?

Yes. Timing can be crucial in maximising the tax benefits when business or other assets subject to capital gains tax are divided between you and your partner as part of a divorce settlement. We can advise on this and other tax issues, such as the inheritance tax exemption on asset transfers between partners until a divorce is finalised.

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